Monday, April 07, 2008

Few days off

This last few days without any Net connection have been quite reflective.

Well actualy it started off being a pain in the b*****e, but over the course I kinda just chilled.

Five days, yep five days. But one thing that struck me during the period talking to other journos was the slow boil debate surrounding videojournalism.


It's been fifteen years since I first picked up a camera and my NUJ (National Union of Journalists) card labelled me a videojournalist.

Prior that for six years I had the dubious tag of a bi-media journalist, working on the likes of BBC Newsnight three times a week and spending one day as a presenter at BBC London's radio.

Of course this may not seem like a long time, but even so I wouldn't for one moment be prescriptive about what others believe videojournalism is or isn't.

I have my own views which have stewed over the years, and are part of my Phd studies, but I'm aware of the many differences, which I'm also eager to know more about.

Scott Rensberger - a celebrated videographer/photographer resists the use of the word videojournalism applied to his craft.

And judging by the ground swell of chat around the subject, it's probably not a bad idea.

Frankly, it can't be a restrictive form wrapped around formulas and prescribed functions. That makes no sense.

What some of the VJs I have come to know emulate is the role of the auter - with a strong sense of journalism that underpins their talents.

In the 90s the Dogma movement had a lot to offer Vjism. There's little heard of the twin influences nowadays, which is a shame because dogma was a real and exciting breakaway from some of the conveyor belt qualities of film making.

We could learn from that.

But one thing I'm convinced of is that there are no fixed stanzas that rule vidojournalism; guideliness, yes, that enable anyone to launch a career, but beyond that it's what you make of it.

It's a broadchurch with no fixed religion. In stark contrast to say modern art and its various movements, such as impressionism, cubism or futurisms, but that however I suspect will change as more and more practitioners take to the craft.

Meanwhile I continue to look forward to the many styles and films emerging from the new auters.

Ultimately it boils down to the quality of the film and its capacity to unfold a great story, irrespective of the tag vjism or not.


peter said...

david - check out the 4/7 edition of the New Yorker. Long article "Auteur theory" about Godard and Truffaut. Most of it is biographical gossip but in the first couple of pages there are some strong parallels between the French New Wave and current VJ.

David of said...

thanks Peter - been spending some time with the futurists
Love your new site.